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MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
7764428,192 (4.1)15
Isabelle is one of Cinderella's ugly stepsisters, who cut off their toes in an attempt to fit into the glass slipper; but there is more to her story than a maimed foot, for the Marquis de la Chance is about to offer her a choice and the opportunity to change her fate--there will be blood and danger, but also the possibility of redemption and triumph, and most of all the chance to find her true self.… (mer)
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engelska (42)  ungerska (1)  Alla språk (43)
Visa 1-5 av 43 (nästa | visa alla)
(I am using this book for the "Book with Royalty" for Extreme Book Nerd.)

Fairy tale retellings can be either be really good or really bad. When I read about "Stepsister" coming out, I had high hopes for it. It is quite common to do Cinderella stories but she is the main character. However, "Stepsister" is about.....obviously....a stepsister and what happens to her after Cinderella has her happily ever after.

Isabella does not have much going for her. She has cut off her toes to try to fit into Cinderella's class slipper (which is super true to the original Grimms fairy tale.) Her mother hates her. Everyone thinks she is ugly. Life is tough. And there is an evil army attacking the French villages plundering everything in their wake.

Isabella longs to be pretty. But what is pretty exactly? Is it only skin deep? Or is it finding yourself and being true to yourself? Encounters with "Chance" and "Fate" (who are at war for Isabella's life and soul) set Isabella on a course that will drastically change her life forever.

Cinderella, thankfully, is not often present in this story. (And even her storyline shows she is a flawed character and not the perfect blue dress wearing Disney princess we are used to.) The other main character besides Isabella is her sister, the other step sister, Octavia. Both Isabella and Octavia want more from their lives than what society tells them, what their mother tells them. Their characters are decidedly feminist in a very non-feminist world.

I found this book extremely riveting. I couldn't put it down and read it in a span of a few days. (It also made me want to rewatch "Ever After"...even though that's more of a Cinderella story. ;)) My initial confusion with "Fate" and "Chance" gave way to appreciation for the author. She dared to put different elements into a well known story. It was ballsy. And it worked. ( )
  msgabbythelibrarian | Jun 11, 2023 |
I love this retelling of Cinderella. It is dark like the original fairy tales and we get to focus on what life was like for the stepsisters. I love that the sisters metaphorically and physically cut off pieces of themselves to fit the narrative of expectations. A great story to remind girls and young women that we can't please everyone and that we need to be able to like ourselves and be happy with what we see in the mirror, so stay true to yourselves. ( )
  Shauna_Morrison | Jun 8, 2023 |
I had great expectations of Stepsister and it didn't let me down at all. From the very beginning, it had me hooked. I liked the idea of the tale being told of Isabelle, Ella (Cinderella's) ugly stepsister. She was horrid and cruel, we all found that out in the original fairytale but after a while the dislike of Isabelle that I had started to change. In fact, I started rooting for her and the whole moral to the story was a prominent one that may be more people should think about.

This was a fast-paced and well-written book, Jennifer Donelly has done a fantastic job here with the characters and details. It felt like I was actually in the book with them.
I am hoping that with the ending as it was, that there will be another person or people whose life map needs a little helping hand and a nudge in the right direction.
Definitely a 5 out of 5, a fantastic read. ( )
  StressedRach | Jun 2, 2023 |
4.5 Stars! Such a well-written, thoughtful book. I could read retellings like this one- dark, smart, full of heart- every day.

It would’ve been the full 5 stars if the message wasn’t so heavy handed. I think readers are smart enough to “get it” without the author saying “this is what I exactly mean here”.


I was pleasantly surprised by this retelling. I went into it expecting to like it, but what I wasn't expecting was how creative, thoughtful, and spellbinding it would be.

This story is about Ella's stepsisters (Isabelle & Octavia) and their lives after she leaves to become the Queen of France. The secondary story is about a character named Chance, who breaks into Fate's lair and steals Isabelle's Life Map. He's convinced he can change her path, but Fate wants to make sure Isabelle lives the life that Fate drew up. On top of all of that, there is a Fairy Queen who agrees to help Isabelle if she can find the missing pieces of her heart.

It was an intricate story that involves a war, a troop of traveling performers, girls who don't follow the status-quo, and all the familiar elements that we know from the fairy tale. I thought it was beautifully and smartly done.

My favorite character was Octavia, or Tavi. All she wanted to do was study Math and Science and be left alone. Her dry humor and blunt personality endeared her to me. It was refreshing to have her in the book.

I think the reason this didn't end up being a 5 star read for me was the heavy handed nature of the message. It was a very obvious feminist take on Cinderella, which is great-- but it also felt like the author didn't trust the reader to figure that out on his/her own. By the end it felt like I was being hit over the head with the message. Also, I could've done with a darker retelling (which was what I was expecting) than what this was.

OVERALL: Very creative and detailed take on Cinderella. This book was a pleasure to read with a really fun adventure to go on. I would read retellings all day/every day if they all flowed like this one. I could've done without the heavy handed message though.

My Blog:

Pink Polka Dot Books
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  Michelle_PPDB | Mar 18, 2023 |
This book ....blew my my mind! This book is about what happens after Cinderella ends and what happens to the ugly stepsisters .... well until Chance and Fate step in. Isabelle is one of the ugly stepsisters and runs into the Fairy Godmother and has one wish for her. But in order for her wish to be granted, she has to mend her broken heart and make amends, which sends Isabelle on a wild goose chase, where Fate and Chance happen to step in. This book had me on the edge of my seat and when I thought I had things figured out, there was another series of twists and turns. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will probably read it again and again. One of my favorite lines is “they drank a toast to foolish humans, who stumbled and fell, made more wrong choices than right ones, and who broke their own hearts again and again but somehow managed to do one or two things right . . . The thing you are fighting against, always, is yourself.” Jennifer Donnelly is a brilliant author who gives a voice to the hated ugly stepsister and teaches a valuable lesson in this amazing book!! ( )
  dabutkus | Sep 4, 2022 |
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Once upon always and never again, in an ancient city by the sea, three sisters worked by candlelight.
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Isabelle is one of Cinderella's ugly stepsisters, who cut off their toes in an attempt to fit into the glass slipper; but there is more to her story than a maimed foot, for the Marquis de la Chance is about to offer her a choice and the opportunity to change her fate--there will be blood and danger, but also the possibility of redemption and triumph, and most of all the chance to find her true self.

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